Columbus Radiology Corporation

InteleOrchestrator provides an overlay solution to sustain rapid growth and increase efficiency.

About Columbus Radiology Corporation

Founded in 1946, Columbus Radiology Corporation (CRC) is a leading subspecialty radiology group with a long history of providing professional diagnostic and interventional radiology services throughout the state of Ohio. With a staff of 115 radiologists plus 20 additional non-clinical team members, CRC provides emergency/trauma and subspecialty interpretations 24 hours a day. CRC currently serves 22 hospitals and approximately 60 ambulatory sites, with an annual study volume of 2.1 million.

Rapid Growth Creates Need for Unifying Solution

The CRC practice has had an established presence in the Columbus, Ohio area for more than 70 years. Over the last five to ten years, the practice has experienced some very rapid growth, expanding its client base to include sites in the Columbus surrounding area, as well as Cincinnati and Toledo areas. CRC continues to grow throughout the state.

To prepare for this growth and to remain competitive and to ensure continuity of the same high-quality service, CRC leadership began to search for some type of unifying technology solution that would streamline workflow and simplify the reading environment. With the number, geographic diversity, and technological complexity of client sites steadily increasing, CRC required a solution that worked with all systems.

“At that time, our clients were on at least eight different dictation systems, multiple different PACS, a variety of workstations,” said Dr. Vikram Krishnasetty, MD, Vice President at CRC and Chair of Clinical IT Board at Radiology Partners. “We could not add any more complexity to our reading environment, it was a serious barrier to growth.”

InteleOrchestrator: A Hands-Down Decision

After evaluating many different technology approaches for overcoming this barrier, Intelerad’s InteleOrchestrator was chosen for its extensive flexibility and implementation options. An enterprise-wide worklist solution, InteleOrchestrator intelligently manages reading workflow by automatically and dynamically organizing each radiologist’s reading tasks, accounting for variables such as radiologist subspecialty, credentials, workload, location and availability. The system can also launch more than 50 different applications, accommodating the complex, multi-vendor reality of today’s healthcare industry.

The ability to launch a client’s legacy PACS – as well as a wide range of dictation systems – from within the worklist was extremely important to CRC. It was not feasible to migrate all client sites to one central PACS, and InteleOrchestrator ensured that this was unnecessary.

Being able to implement an integrated solution with all that flexibility was a huge draw,” said Dr. Krishnasetty. “We looked at so many technologies and without question, our selection of Clario SmartWorklist was a hands-down decision.

Dr. Vikram Krishnasetty MD Vice President at CRC and Chair of Clinical IT Board at Radiology Partners

Auto-Next Feature Enables 50% More Efficiency

Another key selling point was the ability to customize the InteleOrchestrator implementation, avoiding the need for clients to make adaptations to their processes.

It was almost invisible to the hospitals, they didn’t have to change a thing,” Dr. Krishnasetty said. “We could make it all happen on our end. We could do it all in Clario SmartWorklist.

*Clario SmartWorklist is now InteleOrchestrator

By leveraging InteleOrchestrator to unify and streamline workflow, CRC has been able to improve patient care and decrease turnaround times, while recognizing significant efficiency gains. Radiologists appreciate the ability to customize the interface for maximum productivity. The “auto-next” reading mode, in which the system chooses and presents the next case to read, is popular. One CRC radiologist estimates that this feature alone makes him 50% more efficient.

Partnership Broadens Adoption of Intelerad Solutions

As the adoption of InteleOrchestrator paved the way for continued rapid business growth, CRC entered a partnership with a national practice, Radiology Partners. This enabled the practices to strategically pool resources for providing increased clinical value through AI and other technology investment, best practice development, expanded R&D, and other economies of scale.

This partnership is mutually beneficial and has resulted in the adoption of InteleOrchestrator and other Intelerad solutions, including IntelePACS® and InteleViewer, more broadly throughout both organizations.

Collaboration on New Features Extends Utility of Product

As CRC radiologists developed expertise with InteleOrchestrator, they found a very receptive vendor open to exploring, implementing and collaborating on new features that would extend the utility of the product. This close relationship resulted in the development of a major new product capability for providing real-time feedback on team and individual productivity.

After several months of close collaboration between CRC and the InteleOrchestrator product development team, a new Productivity Gauge feature was released to all customers, providing real-time, visual indicator of individual productivity, as determined by customizable criteria set by the practice.

Productivity Gauge Enables Workload Balancing

Every practice has the ability to define the unit of work used by the Productivity Gauge. It can be as simple as RVUs or the number of cases, or it can be a more custom calculation that is relevant to the specific operation and goals of the practice. The system is continually monitoring the volume of work coming in, at adjustable intervals (for example, every 15 minutes). Dividing this volume by the number of radiologists currently on shift calculates the individual productivity rate needed to keep the whole team on target.

The Productivity Gauge is an excellent tool for workload balancing across the entire organization, helping team members meet workload and turnaround time targets while fostering a team approach, rather than a competitive or cherry-picking approach. With real-time feedback on output in comparison to the current productivity expectation – which team members know is calculated using a fair and equal distribution of work units – each individual can see if they are keeping up, ahead of the game, or falling behind.

Another key selling point was the ability to customize the InteleOrchestrator implementation, avoiding the need for clients to make adaptations to their processes.

This is not designed to push radiologists to read ‘faster’,” said Dr. Krishnasetty. “The goal is to balance the workload so that each of us is doing our part to accomplish that day’s work.

Real-Time Feedback Eliminates Guesswork

A practice is able to define its own thresholds for the gauge, specifying the number, benchmark and color representation for each threshold. CRC has three: the gauge is green when individual output is at least 90% of the goal, yellow between 80% and 90%, and red below 80%. Fluctuation throughout a shift is expected and normal, but the objective is to achieve green status before completing a shift.

“Before the Productivity Gauge, you really had no idea if you were doing your work for the day or not. You just kind of had to guess,” Dr. Krishnasetty said. “Having that real-time feedback in front of you is rewarding, and it helps everyone stay motivated and on target.”

Customizable Gauge Enables Optimal Workflow, Maximizes Capacity

After implementing the Productivity Gauge, CRC saw significant efficiency gains and reduced staffing needs. Today, the feature is critical for maintaining a highly productive workflow that maximizes reading capacity across the practice. If the green-yellow-red feedback is removed from the reading environment, productivity falls dramatically.

“Now, without the gauge, the whole practice workflow falls apart, because no one knows where they are,” said Dr. Krishnasetty. “We have had to call in multiple radiologists to deal with the backup.”

A Powerful Analytics Tool

The data collected also assists management in monitoring trends, analyzing staffing needs, and making adjustments as necessary. At CRC, the next horizon is to leverage the data predictively.

As a result of its adoption of InteleOrchestrator, CRC has not only overcome the challenges of an overly complex reading environment, it has fostered a more productive and harmonious internal work environment through its collaboration on the Productivity Gauge feature. The close relationship with Intelerad continues to grow as CRC and Radiology Partners deploy additional Intelerad solutions within their businesses.